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Job-related relocation considerations for the 'other half'!

Nearly one million Americans relocate for purposes of a job each year. And over 75% of those are married, according to the Employee Relocation Council.

So what happens to the spouse in this situation?

The decision to move means leaving family, friends, maybe even a career behind. But most spouses are willing to take the plunge for a career opportunity or the happiness of their 'better half'.

Many corporations understand this and try to compensate for the inconvenience. As a matter of fact, relocation assistance is often used as a recruiting tool. For some it includes a bonus, arranging job interviews for the spouse, flying the whole family back and forth to visit the area or even moving a wine collection. However, even after the perks, there are some things that the trailing spouse will have to adjust to.

While the transferee is immersed in the new environment as an employee, the trailing spouse may have to handle the issues of finding a home, getting the kids in school, making new friends and adjusting.

As a trailing spouse, here are some things you may want to consider during the transition:

  • What are your long-term career goals? Contact the local Chamber of Commerce, register with employment agencies, ask for referrals from friends, family, and your current boss or get to know people in the neighborhood for possible leads. You may even want to try your hand at entrepreneurship and develop a career you can take anywhere!
  • Do you have any personal needs for fulfillment? For example, donating time to a non-profit organization, starting a new hobby or advancing your education. This is a great way to reach out in your community and meet new people.
  • Are there any family responsibilities you need to take care of? In regards to healthcare or finances, for example.

Answering these questions will help you determine what's most important during this stage of your life. Your spouse's human resources department might have a special program to direct you to finding organizations or support groups. It's also important to attend activities where you can become acquainted with other trailing spouses.

Moving is said to be one of the top five stress producers, but if you can communicate and take things one step at a time, you will be the prevailing spouse!

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